Its an old cliche but Aston Villa welcome Sheffield Utd to Villa Park Wednesday evening in a game we desperately need to win. It will be the first game since the Premier League was suspended due to the Covid-19 pandemic so all eyes will no doubt be on B6 this evening.
It has obviously been a season to remember for all football fans due to what has gone on away from the game and how it will be affected moving forward but Villa fans will have their own reasons also. Some sections of the Aston Villa faithful will argue that we should have been better given our Summer outlay while others will tell you that it was never going to be a walk in the park.
The fact is the lack of effort at times and the consistent errors have cost us. Our inability to hold on to the lead or even avoid a defeat when drawing could prove vital come to the end of the season. Arsenal, who sit 9th in the league have just 2 more victories than Villa this season but Dean Smith’s men have lost 11 more games.
Sheff Utd have surprised many with their never say die attitude and find themselves sitting 7th in the table. Chris Wilder will make sure that his Blades side are well prepared for their trip to Villa Park so we will have to be at our best if we are able to climb out of the relegation zone. Those who like a bet may want to try a new bookies but it would be hard to call this after no games for so long, form literally goes out the window.
Scotland international and fan favourite John McGinn will be available following a six-month layout. The midfielder fractured his ankle in December but Smith has highlighted that he would be wary about rushing his star midfielder back too quickly.
Goalkeeper Jed Steer is available for selection after also recovering from a long-term injury. Tom Heaton and striker Wesley have both been ruled out for the final nine games as they continue their recoveries from long term knee injuries.
As for Sheff Utd, they have no injury issues. Wilder will have a fully fit squad to select from as the three-month layout allowed any players with niggling injuries to clear them up.
The big talking point will be the potential return of McGinn but will Smith risk starting him after a 6-month layout. Keinan Davis will be pushing for a start but I fully expect Smith to stick with Mbwanna Samatta who has two goals in his five Aston Villa appearances.
FANTASY FOOTBALL TIPS
Jack Grealish would be my tip from Aston Villa for this fixture. At £6.4M he is a snip for a player with so much more still to prove. With his future at the club undecided, the boyhood Villa fan will want to do everything he can to help Villa keep their Premier League status.
The 24-year old has scored 7 and assisted 7 making him the highest-rated Villa player on FPL with 118 points so far. 23.9% of teams currently have Villa’s captain in their teams.
At £4.9M it is hard to look past John Lundstram. He is regarded as a defender on FPL but generally plays in midfield and already has 128 points to his name so far this season. In fact, he’s that popular, a massive 41% of FPL teams have the 26-year-old in their teams going into the Premier League restart.
Sheff Utd has hardly been an easy game for Villa in recent times. In fact, Villa have only managed one win in the last six meetings and that game back in 2018 when Robert Snodgrass (remember him?) scored a wonder goal late on at Brammall Lane.
Villa have however been making all the right noises and in a game, I regard as a must-win, I can only hope that Smith’s men are well prepared for a game that could ultimately shape the final nine games of the season for us.
Aston Villa 2-1 Sheff Utd.
Details and Television
Competition: Premier League
Venue: Villa Park, Birmingham
Date: Wednesday, 17th June 2020
Kick-off: 18.00 (UK Time)
Television: Sky Sports Main Event, Sky Sports Premier League